Sunday, February 17, 2013

Judging Prophecy


So there I was...trimming my rose bushes the day after Valentine's day when the Lord began asking me questions about judging prophecy. What follows is what I took away from that conversation:

I haven't written a lot of prophetic words. And although I'm hosting a prophetic word thread right now, I don't give or receive many prophetic words. I'm more interested in learning how the process of prophecy works than I am in giving or receiving words.

The bible says that prophecy must be judged or discerned (1 Cor. 14:29).

The question is - how do we judge prophecy?

One of the most common answers is, "Prophecy needs to line up with the word of God."

Although this is one of the most common answers given, it may be the least reliable and the most dangerous way to judge prophecy. That may come as a surprise to some of you, so let me explain why I say this.

There is no place in scripture where we are instructed to judge prophecy by measuring or comparing it with scripture itself. While this might seem like a good idea - it isn't taught anywhere in the bible.

It's true that the Bereans searched the word to see if the things they heard were true - but this passage does not refer to prophetic utterance. It refers to doctrine. It's true that a sound knowledge of the bible can help keep us from error, but when it comes to judging prophecy - there is no instruction telling us to compare prophecy with scripture.

If a prophetic word happens to be about earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest - how exactly is the prophecy supposed to "line up with scripture"?

Does the prophet toss in a few verses from the bible about earthquakes to make his word appear to be more scriptural?

And if he did - would it increase the chances that it was from the Lord and not his own imagination?

There are many people delivering "prophetic words" who are not hearing from God, but Satan. These people know the scriptures well. They have an evil agenda and they know how to couch their agenda in the language of the Christian culture. If their agenda is to bring condemnation on a congregation, all they need to do is deliver prophetic words of condemnation, throwing in scriptural references from the book of Revelation's letters to the Churches of Asia, claiming that the Lord Himself is displeased with their disobedience. The terrified congregation will recognize that these prophetic words, "Line up with scripture" and live under condemnation not from the Lord, but from Satan.

Many true prophets of God have become involved in a kind of 'prophecy for profit' enterprise. There are a number of organizations that engage in a subscription service which delivers regular prophetic words to a reader-base. Prophets write a certain number of words each year and submit them for the reader’s consideration. The subscription service delivers them. And in the process, advertisers pay big bucks to everyone involved. The prophets go on tour, sell books, CDs, DVDs and other goods and services, keeping their itineraries booked and bills paid.

I have no qualms with prophets receiving donations or selling books and other services. But the system they've become a part of is dependent upon them producing prophetic words on a regular basis. If there are no words, there is no income. So the words must be written.

But what kind of words does the system deliver?

I've been enrolled to one of the subscription services for several years. To be honest, about 90% of the prophetic material I've read over the last 4 years appears to be nothing more than the same recycled words year after year with only a few minor changes from the year before.

"New anointings, new assignments, new mantles, a new move of God, a fresh wind of the Sprit blowing, a greater level of God's glory, the bride making herself ready....ad nauseum.

I'm not saying that these things are not coming in the near future. I think many of them are. I am saying that if a prophet wants to, he can throw together a few clichés, a few verses of scripture, and a story about a dream or vision and have their word for the month.

Most of the words being written have become so generic, so repetitive and so cliché, they seem to be of little value. But they're always full of scriptural references, because the prophets know, "Prophecy has to line up with the Word".  So we have a lot of worthless prophetic words that are very scriptural.

Judging prophecy is not a matter of determining whether a prophetic word contains a certain number of biblical references. There is no "Scriptural litmus test" for a prophetic word.

Prophecy is judged by the Spirit.

It is discerned when the Holy Spirit confirms or denies His signature in the prophetic word to our spirit. It is evaluated by whether or not it produces light, life and love in the one who hears it. It is judged by whether is brings comfort, consolation or encouragement. It is accepted as valid when the saints agree that their spirits see the breath of God speaking to His children.

Judging prophecy by such standards may not be easy. We may not always come to an agreement. We may not even be certain that the Holy Spirit is bearing witness to our spirit. But that is what we must do. And if it takes training the saints to learn to hear the Holy Spirit a little better, we ought to get moving in that direction.

Let us learn to discern the voice of God speaking through prophecy in a way that builds up the body of Christ and brings glory to the Father.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

THE OFFICE OF THE PROPHET IS DIFFERENT FROM THE SIMPLE GIFT OF PROPHECEY.THE WORD IS GOOD FOR CORRECTION AND REPROOF HENCE GOD HAS FULL RIGHT TO CALL FOR CHANGE OR THE FRUIT OF REPENTANCE WICH WILL EQUAL CHANGE. THERE IS DIFFERANCE BETWEEN CONDEMNATION AND REPROOF I TRULY DID ENJOY YOUR ARTICLE AND I DO NOT BELEIVE THERE ARE AS MANY PROPHETS IN AMERICA AS WOULD BE COMMONLY BELEIVED THERE ARE TWO GOOD BOOKS JUST FOR A GUIDLINE I WOULD ONLY RECOMMEMD THESE TWO FROM THIS AUTHER Prophets and Personal Prophecy Prophets Pitfalls and Principles: God's Prophetic People Today
by Bill Hamon
THESE MAY GIVE A BASIC UNDERSTANDING WITH SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE AND ARE WELL ROUNDED
ORAL ROBERTS ENDORSED ONE NORVEL HAYES THE OTHER

Anonymous said...

The Bible also says that the prophets are to judge prophecy.

Anonymous said...

we are commanded to test all things and hold fast to what is good. In the book of Corinthians paul is listing an actual service and how it should flow. God expected the fivefold ministrey to equip and train the saints according to what he desired to give them as christians all have one gift and are to ernastly desire the best gifts there are only so many prophets (few) that being said remember there is more than one type of service. we are not to wage a natural warfare and God expected our leaders to be yeilded enough to the Spirit to train His disciples not converts remember Jesus saying these signs shall follow example beleiver x was supposed to cast out 3 demons heal four people go home beleiver y 8 demons 64 healings remember works predestined not by your power or your might but by the Holy Spirit there will be alot to answer for on judgement day as many souls may have been needlessly lost and God was not welcome to move thru all His people in a service due to time constraints leadership ect.

Anonymous said...

R.W. schambach God speaks to Pastors. Kim clement prophetic defilement the need for repentance and to break every negative word spoken over your life in Jesus name.
-Paul BATTLED THE BEAST AT EPHESUS warned night and day about perils even among those in the congregation and leadership. IMPOSTER DESERTERS TRAITORS AND YES HERESEY MUST BE SO THAT THOSE APPROVED MAY BE MANIFEST.
smith wigglsworth prophesied the first two moves of the spirit and spoke of the third which will come forth in the new testament we have a warning that as jannes withstood Moses so will it be at the end (my summary) dereck prince submitted some prophetic revelation in the 60's in a message called false religion free at lake Hamilton .org and warned of the spiritual and physical agents at work in the last day sign for sign miracle for miracle. as I talk with those from Africa and research even to Australia the occult is not hidden within their cultures and so many thru staying full of the Holy Spirit not just being filled once but continually know and can accept a much greater capacity to wage warfare and have come to the realization that each win may open the door to a greater battle.As lester sumral used to say we try to take cities without dealing with the powers over them thats a mistake we make. we cast out demons everything else is just plain battle.Rick Joyner states even when we take ground for the Kingdom many times we can't wage earfare required to hold it and its lost (my summary)
even the apostles dealt with occultist a good book to read although she may be a bit young in her understanding of the Word is from a former converted high priest of satanaism who by a miracle was converted . by dr.rebecca brown (he came to set the captives free)she states standard basic training in satanic churches to infiltrate destroy curse kill and disband churches folks and leadership if all else fails they try to infiltrate to make the church ladocian like (its pretty bad when they understand how God will react to that better than many of our leaders) the battle is raging and a natural warfare is not good. we do need revival but even more so we need the meat of the word the concept of war and to be continually filled with the spirit
KNOWING THAT WE ARE GIVEN ALL POWER OVER THE ENEMY REQUIRES THE ABILITY TO WAGE A GOOD WARFARE AND NOT SWING AT NOTHING GOD DESIRES TO MAKE THEE ENEMY A FOOTSTOOL AND CHOOSES TO USE US THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME.ALL BATTLE REQUIRES TRAINING AND SOME WARFARE IS DIFFEERENT IS IT NOT WRITTEN I WILL GIVE YOU POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY WHO IS TRYING TO STEAL KILL AND DESTROY AND THRU MANY TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS WE ENTER THE KINGDOM.shalom


these are all contributing aspects to this article another reason

Anonymous said...

I thought these scriptures may apply there is a milk of the Word and a Meat wich will equal senses exercised to disceren good and evil(hebrews)
2Pe 3:1-2Pe 3:18 Act 20:28 Act 20:32 1Cr 11:18 1Cr 11:19 study definition heresies its not always total error but a failure to be well balanced and sober of mind even to the amplification of one truth at the expense of another
1Cr 9:26 1Cr 9:27 Hbr 3:7 Hbr 3:19 Jud 1:1 Jud 1:23-study not having These are those who have a form of godliness but deny the power of it (Spirit of Grace)
this refers to how they treat the Holy Spirit. they where their own lord -Rom 1:21 Rom 1:32 life not your own created to do His will and purpose salvation is someone not somthing.1Ti 1:8 2Ti 4:1 2Ti 4:4 Jam 1:12 2Ti 2:15 Phl 2:12 Rom 11:19 Rom 11:25 2Cr 10:5 Col 1:10